25 years ago this week: Thursday, April 30, 1987

THE Duchess of Northumberland last week praised the work of the long-term unemployed who relaid Alnwick’s historic Cobbles.

Completing an opening ceremony at the site of Robertson’s Pant, the Duchess paid tribute to the men who have relaid about 3,000 square yards of the 230-year-old cobbled area.

Alnwick District Council chairman Hugh Philipson added to the praise, saying: “The lads who did this should be congratulated. This is a result of their dedication and is a long-lasting monument of their work. Alnwick is now really starting to look up.

“We are hoping to start on the Fenkle Street cobbles by the end of this month.”

The Cobbles, which were first put down in 1756, were never laid better than they were today, added Coun Philipson.

The Duchess, who unveiled a commemorative plaque, then received a BBC Townscape Award from presenter Wendy Gibson for the scheme.

It was decided to relay the cobbles because they were rapidly deteriorating.

This was because they were being continually dug up for mains servicing and were being used for car parking.

Relaying the cobbles costs the district council only £33,000 for materials and plant.

The labour costs of £36,000 have been met by the Manpower Services Commission.

l ALNWICK District Council is open to a High Court action over Sunday trading because they are not enforcing the Shops Act correctly.

The district council has no enforcement officers, therefore is only receiving complaints over shops trading on a Sunday instead of enforcing the trading law fully themselves.

This would also refer to shops trading in an illegal manner during the week , ie. staying open too late.